Special advisor to the President on non-governmental organisations and civil society, Mavuto Bamusi, has branded Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) of being “noisy” advocates of political propaganda.
Bamusi who accused the CSO’s of being “childish” by attacking President Peter Mutharika’s attitude on October 8 during a news conference, said the activist are attacking Mutharika to on political grounds and not advocacy.
He made the claims during a ‘Straight Talk’ interview monitored by Nyasa Times on Capital Radio.
Bamusi trashed calls by CSO’s for President Mutharika to resign, saying the groups have “unreasonable grounds” for such demands.
“They are noisy CSO’s. Their advocacy is not based on evidence,” he said.
Bamusi said Malawi CSO’s should “graduate from mediocrity” and practise “patriotism and sense of responsibility.”
He claimed most of CSOs leaders who are calling Mutharika to resign or the critics of the government has “political vendetta”. He did not mention names.
“Even if govt were to strengthen their communications machinery – they will still want to use that as the way of victimising the President, calling him all sorts of names,” said Bamusi to growing criticism of the President’s alleged bloated delegation to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) amid a crumbling economy.
He said all the calls for President to resign were stemming from “politics” and “vendetta” against Mutharika.
“If we continue this approach this country will never develop. Malawi prioritises politics too much,” stated Bamusi.
He quashed CSO’s agitation for a nationwide anti-government protest, saying there are “no reasonable grounds” to stage protests.
The CSO’s asks President to commit to expedite pursuit of justice on the murder of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director late Issa Njauja as well as other cases including the Robert Chasowa and the July 20 killings.
Apart from economic revival, they further call on Mutharika to swiftly respect and protect media freedom in the country by, among others, resisting temptations aimed at gagging the media.
“In the same vein, the President must sign the much-awaited Table Mountain Declaration, and fully support the enactment of the Access to Information Bill.”
But Bamusi said the reasons being advanced by CSO’s are “malicious.”
“The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration is the first to understand and sympathises with the challenges people are going through,” pointed out Bamusi.
He said CSO’s call on Mutharika “underneath there are political undercurrents”, claiming further that some activist are” realigning themselves politically, gearing up for 2019 elections.”
Bamusi rubbished demands for President Mutharika to step down as “cheap propaganda; simply wasting precious development time.”
He dismissed assertions that Mutharika is behaving like a dictator, saying he is “very far away from becoming a dictator.”
“People equate anger with dictatorship. That kind of anger is justified and sometimes it is called holy anger.
“What the president does not like is the peddling of lies. Some CSO’s were peddling lies on the trip to UN,” said Bamusi.
He maintained that protests are not the best course of action.
“Demonstrations are out of fashion? Exhaustive engagement, dialogue and consultations are the way to go, “said Bamusi.
“We need constructive noise, voices of reason,” added Bamusi.
He said Mutharika came from UN with “a package of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), saying the CSO’s should focus on localising them.
Bamusi who comes from civil society background also accused “some NGO’s” of being involved in corruption, and nepotism.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo faulted Bamusi’s reaction to CSOs.
“What does the Presidential Advisor mean by the word childish or noisy? Tell me what is being childish or noisy between representing the public concerns about the collapsing public service delivery and banging table in anger against your own people?
“Is showing off that you are a super multi-millionaire with hefty bank accounts while thousands of Malawians are dying due to hunger and poor health service delivery not childish? Is forcing civil servants to join the private sector not childish? If this is not childish, then what is childish?”
Addes Mtambo: “My message to Mavuto Bamusi is that whatever we do in the Civil Society is about the good of this country, not necessarily about whether you share the same geographical origin or ethnic group with the President. It’s about the nation’s plight and human rights for all.”
Over 16 key civil society organisations under the Civic and Political Space Platform (CPSP) through its chairperson Moses Mkandawire that Malawians have the right to hold leaders accountable and demand their rights.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :